I like to do this thing every now and then where I get really into racing and then just race multiple weeks in a row. This happened last April in the weekends prior to my May 3rd marathon, and, while shorter distances (15k, 10k, two 5ks), really wore me out. It wore me out so much that after my marathon I didn't race again until the last weekend in August. However, after such a drought, I forgot how fun it was and kind of went overboard this past time, racing the past 4 weekends in a row. Needless to say, after a marathon, a half-marathon, and a 5k in 3 straight weekends, this weekend's half-marathon was a little.... excruciating.
However, despite my plus 9 minute mile pace and my slowest half-marathon finish in a year, there were a few really awesome things about this race.
Awesome thing #1: Grete Waitz high-fiving me. Yea, she won the NYC marathon 9 times and has an entire New York Road Runners race devoted to her. No big deal except I contemplated not washing my hand for at least a few hours.
Awesome thing #2: Mary Wittenberg handing me a Gatorade at the last rest stop. I wasn't even thirsty, I just wanted to say that Mary Wittenberg hydrated me. I even saved the cup and took a picture (wow, I am a really big dork).
Awesome thing #3: The third place male finisher and I clipped elbows. For some reason the lead bike wasn't leading the second pack where the third place runner was and so when he was breaking away from his pack, he was stuck in the crowd of runners still completing their first lap. I guess he wasn't sure if he was supposed to be following someone, so all of a sudden he decided to cross over right in front of me and enter the finisher's chute, clipping my left elbow as he blew past me (seriously, it was like the guy hadn't just run 6 more miles than I had). At any rate, it was sort of exciting because I don't think anyone else noticed that he was the third place guy except me.
Awesome thing #4: Long-sleeved race shirts. I don't know why this is so exciting to me, but every time I sign up for a race and get a long-sleeved shirt I feel like it's Christmas. I even did a skip out of the NYRR building after I picked up my race packet.
Awesome thing #5: 97% humidity. Okay, just kidding; that was actually horrible.
It was a really fun race, despite the fact that my legs were tired from the first mile. I guess that gives me license to take a break this week, which is fine with me since I have the Nike Women's Marathon two weeks from today. I kind of disappeared from my friends, but today I had a football game down at Brooklyn Tech. We lost (well actually we technically recorded a 'W', since the real team we were supposed to play didn't show up, but then we played pickup with another team that had their own screen printed jerseys and argued every call in our not-really-a-league-game-scrimmage. Really guys? It's touch football. Re-lax.), but what we lacked in football catching and running skills (me, on both counts) we made up for in Category flip cup skills at the bar (me, again). All in all a good weekend in New York, and now only 1 more race for guaranteed entry in the New York City Marathon for 2010.